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Emily St. John Mandel: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Emily St. John Mandel

Describe your latest book. My new novel is called Station Eleven. It's about a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North... Continue »
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    Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel 9780385353304

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1 Beaverton Poetry- A to Z

This title in other editions

The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart


The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart Cover




the wind blows 

through the doors of my heart

The wind blows

through the doors of my heart.

It scatters my sheet music

that climbs like waves from the piano, free of the keys.

Now the notes stripped, black butterflies,

flattened against the screens.

The wind through my heart

blows all my candles out.

In my heart and its rooms is dark and windy.

From the mantle smashes birds’ nests, teacups

full of stars as the wind winds round,

a mist of sorts that rises and bends and blows

or is blown through my rooms of my heart

that shatters the windows,

rakes the bedsheets as though someone

had just made love. And my dresses

they are lifted like brides come to rest

on the bedstead, crucifixes,

dresses tangled in trees in the rooms

of my heart. To save them

I’ve thrown flowers to fields,

so that someone would pick them up

and know where they came from.

Come the bees now clinging to flowered curtains.

Off with the clothesline pinning anything, my mother’s


It is not for me to say what is this wind

or how it came to blow through the rooms of my heart.

Wing after wing, through the rooms of the dead

the wind does not blow. Nor the basement, no wheezing,

no wind choking the cobwebs in our hair.

It is cool here, quiet, a quilt spread on soil.

But we will never lie down again.

the birthing

Call out the names in the procession of the loved.

Call from the blood the ancestors here to bear witness

to the day he stopped the car,

we on our way to a great banquet in his honor.

In a field a cow groaned lowing, trying to give birth,

what he called front leg presentation,

the calf come out nose first, one front leg dangling from his


A fatal sign he said while rolling up the sleeves

of his dress shirt, and climbed the fence.

I watched him thrust his arms entire

into the yet-to-be, where I imagined holy sparrows scattering

in the hall of souls for his big mortal hands just to make way.

With his whole weight he pushed the calf back in the mother

and grasped the other leg tucked up like a closed wing

against the new one’s shoulder.

And found a way in the warm dark to bring both legs out

into the world together.

Then heaved and pulled, the cow arching her back.

Until a bull calf, in a whoosh of blood and water,

came falling whole and still onto the meadow.

We rubbed his blackness, bloodying our hands.

The mother licked her newborn, of us oblivious,

until it moved a little, struggled.

I ran to get our coats, mine a green velvet cloak,

and his tuxedo jacket, and worked to rub the new one dry

while he set out to find the farmer.

When it was over, the new calf suckling his mother,

the farmer soon to lead them to the barn,

leaving our coats just where they lay

we huddled in the car.

And then made love toward eternity,

without a word drove slowly home. And loved some more.

a man like this

That summer he and my brothers

unload rusty barrels on the hill above the lake,

the barrels to be filled with air from a compressor

mostly on the blink to buoy up the dock

that’s sagging, starboard, almost sunk.

It’s a long enterprise that will take days

of sinking barrels in the shallows,

rolled out half full of water, to the hull.

My brothers dive and struggle,

drumming their heads and elbows

where the jack cranks up the far left corner,

then treading water, shaking heads

and spouting as men do in grand productions

of hard work, their little sisters watching,

drown the barrel, hoist it up between the beams.

Now the compressor’s hose so many times wrapped

round with plumber’s tape,

stuck in the barrel, hisses out the muck,

the remnant water, oil and stink.

My brothers wear my father’s surgeon’s masks

as if that helps. And so it goes,

this or some other year, except today

high on the hill one barrel tilts, set down

sideways on its own lid, perhaps,

and pitches, beating down the hill toward children

in a playpen, children in the shallows playing, mother


What does my father do but leap over the hill

and fly a moment, airborne over gravel trying

to catch the barrel till he falls sliding, sprawled and raked

across the stones. The babies scream.

The barrel hits the water, bobs into the cove.

Still, for a moment he is flying out beyond heroics,

willed aloft a little once above the earth.

Better such flight than consequence.

I want a man like this

who, restless, bookish, given to sudden outbursts

or affection, takes running jumps,

it would seem, all his life, against reason,

a man who flies and falls, scraped head to toe,

whose daughters wash him in the lake

with Ivory soap,

dive down to pick the rock shards

from his legs, then dry him gently off

and lay him in the Ozarks sun on a half- sunken dock

and rub his ripped and bleeding skin with ointment.

Product Details

Digges, Deborah
American - General
Single Author / General
Poetry-A to Z
Single Author / American
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.61x6.20x.49 in. .55 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

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